Wednesday, September 2, 2009

American Beautyberry - perfect native plant for The Woodlands

This is a plant recommended for your garden. It is a small natural East Texas Forest understory bush that produces colorful berries for birds. It's leaf is savored by deer. 1 You will see it on about any casual walk along the paths of The Woodlands or in the forest, especially near water. This photo was taken at  Mercer Arboretum. The plant is tolerant to drought, but will thrive in moist soils. It blooms and produces berries all summer into the fall.  Its berries  can be used for food as well, but it is not recommended for anything but jelly. The flowers are ornamental and add beauty to the gardens as much as the berries do. Native Americans  used this plant for medicinal purposes including malarial diseases, fevers, dysentery, and colic. 2   One of the nice qualities of this plant is that it is also considered a wildflower, propagating  by seed as well as cuttings.  It is not too tolerant of extreme cold however.

1 Texas Parks and Wildlife
2 Easy Wildflowers

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